He is the savior who will deliver his deplorable supporters from the unbearable sanctimony of the left

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Pau Casals on Unsplash

In order to understand the so-called cult of personality that has developed around the orange guy with the bad hair who used to host The Apprentice on NBC, you have to completely forget about things like policy, governance, and why people may unknowingly, but enthusiastically vote against their own interests. Those things have nothing whatsoever to do with this phenomenon.

The following may not apply to every single Trump voter, of course. But it certainly applies to the core of his most fervent and devoted acolytes. The people that liberals not only cannot be troubled to try to understand but those for which they hold the most disdain and contempt. Those who they look down their noses at and openly ridicule. From the food they eat and the places they dine to the shows they watch and the clothes they wear. Those whose ignorance they scoff at when they cheer for things like “clean coal” without ever stopping to realize that all they really want is a goddamn job. …


If that’s a thought you can’t bear to contemplate, you probably should be too

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Darren Halstead on Unsplash

I have no idea how this upcoming election is going to shake out.

Seems like it could be a huge mess.

Maybe it destroys the Republic as we know it.

Maybe…well, I don’t want to go there.

The point is, I’d prefer to see the Trump Reality Show come to an end.

That’s what I want to happen.

I’m not nuts about Biden but I believe he’s the best shot we have to get this thing back to neutral and then maybe we can fix things.

However…

Things feel eerily similar to 2016.

Biden is “way up” in the polls and people are proclaiming it a foregone conclusion that he’ll win in a landslide. …


Hint: they all have to do with overcoming ego and insecurity

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Look, I haven’t written a best-seller. I haven’t even written a mediocre-seller. But I have written two (short) books: a short story collection and a novella. They are finished, published, and available to the public for purchase. While they haven’t made me rich, or even allowed me to quit my day job, it feels pretty darn good to have them out there in the world with my name on them. I’m proud of myself and the final product.

But it took me a while to get to this point. It took many years of banging my head against the wall, producing inconsistently, never finishing what I started, and painfully long stretches where I couldn’t bring myself to write anything at all. It wasn’t fun. A big part of it was my ego and my own immaturity stopping me from pushing through to the finish line. …


And it doesn’t have anything to do with the pandemic, healthcare, climate change, Russia, guns, taxes, or social justice

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by mana5280 on Unsplash

The 2020 Presidential Election has nothing to do with policy. It’s not about the pandemic, climate change, racism, sexism, guns, abortion, or Russia. It isn’t about Democrat vs. Republican, conservative values vs. liberal values, or capitalism vs. socialism. None of that actually matters. As Robert Reich wrote in The Guardian, the “central fight” in this election is all about one thing. Or more specifically, one person: Donald Trump. The whole of the country, every one of us, are fighting over a petty, narcissistic man-child and whether or not he is fit to serve. …


And neither post resides in a major publication

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

I’ve hit publish 280 times in two years on this platform and I have very modest results to show for it.

By my count, these posts have garnered approximately 60,000 views and nearly 30,000 reads.

In total, they’ve made me $1,464.59 or about $56/month. Which, when I type it out here for the world to see, is moderately depressing considering how many hours I’ve poured into those 280 posts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m grateful to be able to make any money at all from my writing.

But…

Even if I only spent an average of one hour on each post (though the real number is surely much higher than that), I’m making a paltry $5.23/hr for my efforts. …


People say, ‘I think the president might be crazy’ — news flash: duh

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by David Everett Strickler on Unsplash

In one of my favorite jokes of all time, Jerry Seinfeld eloquently distills the mind of someone who believes they, of all people, should be President of the United States:

Anybody who thinks they should be the president — there’s your test right there — if you actually think, for real in your head, that you should be — you’re out of your mind, you’re crazy…‘I should be the president’ to me, is like ‘I should be Thor…’

‘Who should be the most powerful person in America? The Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and leader of the free world? You know, I gotta say that sounds like me. It seems like something I would be good at. …


These things take time

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Natalya Letunova on Unsplash

Success and failure are generally slow processes. Either slowly building things up, or gradually tearing them down. — Jocko Willink

One cheeseburger doesn’t make you overweight.

One blog post doesn’t make you a blogger.

One mile doesn’t give you endurance.

One session at the gym doesn’t make you strong.

One swipe of the card doesn’t get you in debt.

One beer doesn’t make you an alcoholic.

One situp doesn’t give you a six-pack.

One green smoothie won’t erase your gut.

These things take time.

But if you do them one time, over and over again, you’ll get to wherever they lead.

So pay attention.

Sign up for my personal newsletter and get a FREE book, The Tiny Book of Writing Reminders.

You can also join me on Substack and sign up for The Enlightened Writer newsletter for more tips on writing, storytelling, and living well.


But the important thing is that I have one to aim at

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Miikka Luotio on Unsplash

I’ve been pushing myself hard for the past two weeks.

My hands are putting in lots of overtime as they work my fingers to the bone, tapping away on my keyboard as I sit hunched over at my desk for hours on end.

I have a grand aim this month:

100 posts.

That works out to just over three posts per day on average and there’s no way I’m going to make it.

There’s no real hard and fast rule but I shoot for two posts here on TomThoughts (since I make the rules) and then at least one submission to a “major” publication that I have been lucky enough to be accepted into as a writer. …


This simple tool will help you recognize and eliminate useless fluff that can render your work unreadable

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Fighting clutter is like fighting weeds — the writer is always slightly behind. New varieties sprout overnight, and by noon they are part of American speech.
— William Zinsser

In his classic guide on writing nonfiction, On Writing Well, teacher and author William Zinsser shares a simple trick he used with his Yale students to help them declutter their papers:

Brackets [ ] ( ) { }

When going over his students' work, he would simply put brackets around every word, sentence component, or whole sentence that, “wasn’t doing useful work.”

Typical instances where he would bracket a single word…


And how you can too

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jessica Fadel on Unsplash

I never ever, under any circumstances, did my summer reading assignments. Ok, maybe once or twice but only if the books were extremely interesting to me and I had a pretty high bar (The Hobbit and anything by Edgar Allen Poe come to mind as works that made the cut).

Assigned readings during the school year were no different. I skimmed, read cliff notes, asked friends, searched the internet (although it was 2003–2007 so, nothing like it is now) — anything to avoid actually having to read a book to completion. …

About

Tom Belskie

technical writer by day | indie author & blogger by night | www.tombelskie.com | books: https://amz.run/3BoU | drop me a line: tom@tombelskie.com |

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store